Feb. 23, 2012
Official 2012 Big Ten Championships Site
Session I Recap
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Northwestern began the first full day of competition at the 2012 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships by posting a pair of NCAA `B' cut efforts in two different freestyle races at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on the campus of the University of Iowa Thursday.
John Frutiger (Alma, Mich.) earned a `B' cut standard in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:23.31, while Toni Valcic (Ribinca, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) clocked in at 20.23 seconds in the 50 freestyle. Valcic will represent the 'Cats in the bonus final of the 50 freestyle tonight.
One of three seniors on this year's squad, Tony Mattar (Lake Orion, Mich./Indiana), got things started for the 'Cats in the second of seven 500 freestyle heats. Mattar led things off with a time of 4:32.73, more than five seconds quicker than his previous season-best effort in the event. It was also the third fastest swim to that point for the Wildcats this season.
Mattar's classmate, Frutiger, also swam in Thursday morning's preliminary session for NU. He finished second in his heat after touching the wall in 4:23.31. That is a career-best swim for Frutiger, an NCAA'B' cut mark and the fastest clip of the season for the Wildcats. The Alma, Mich., native missed a spot in the consolation final by only eight one-hundredths of a second.
Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) was the third Wildcat to hit the water in the fifth heat. The junior touched the wall in 4:26.47, a time that marked his best effort of the year by 1.84 seconds.
Northwestern sent three swimmers, all underclassmen, to the block for the 200 individual medley this morning. Sophomore Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and freshman Andrew Seitz (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) were in the opening heat. Gerber narrowly missed a career-best time with an effort of 1:53.88 to finish third in the opening heat, while Seitz set a new personal-best with a time of 1:54.38. He finished more than three seconds under his seeded time. Later, newcomer John Kim (Newport Coast, Calif./Corona del Mar) represented the 'Cats. He touched home in 1:53.65
The final swimming event of the first morning session of the championship featured 10 Wildcats spread across nine heats of the 50 freestyle sprint. Three heats, numbers three, four and six, featured two Northwestern swimmers apiece.
Tim Smith (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle) led off with a time of 26.42 in the first heat. The second heat featured William Rosler (Bexley, Ohio/Columbus Academy). Rosler swam the fastest time of his young career in 21.18 seconds. Sophomores Ross McAuliffe (Shapwick, United Kingdom/Millfield School) and Matt Wilcox (Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji) swam side-by-side in heat three. Wilcox narrowly edged McAuliffe with a mark of 20.82. McAuliffe posted a time of 20.91 seconds.
The career-bests kept coming as Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook, Ill.) posted his best-ever time of 20.47 in heat four, while Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) was right behind him at 20.57 seconds, also a personal-best. Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) clocked in at 20.53 seconds, a career-best time by 0.43 seconds in heat five.
Freshman Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) and senior Jake Grosser (St. Charles, Ill./USC) swam in lanes four and five, respectively in the sixth heat of the 50 freestyle. Margritier just missed out an NCAA `B' cut time with an effort of 20.31 seconds to finish fourth in his heat, while Grosser posted his best time of the season in 20.51 seconds.
The final 'Cat to hit the water was junior Toni Valcic was in the ninth and final heat. Valcic posted an NCAA `B' cut time in 20.23 seconds, the fastest of the season for NU. He will represent Northwestern in the bonus final tonight. Margritier is the second alternate for the 50 freestyle.
The first official diving event, the one meter springboard competition, commences this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. A pair of Wildcats are in the field of 31 divers, Tanner Nemkov (Littleton, Colo/Heritage) and Nick Pinkerton (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson). A full recap of that event will be included in tonight's wrap-up. Live results can also be found at the official Big Ten Championships site, which is linked at the top of this page.
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